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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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The International Journal of Comparative Psychology is sponsored by the International Society for Comparative Psychology. It is a peer-reviewed open-access digital journal that publishes studies on the evolution and development of behavior in all animal species. It accepts research articles and reviews, letters and audiovisual submissions.

Volume 32, 2019

Brief Report

A Facet Theory Analysis of the Structure of Cognitive Performance in New Zealand Robins (Petroica longipes)

In this report we analyse the cognitive performance of New Zealand Robins (Petroica longipes) using facet theory, smallest space analysis (SSA) and partial order scalogram analysis (POSA). The data set we analyse was originally subjected to principle component analysis in order to develop a test-battery for avian cognitive performance. We extend these analyses by proposing a two facet rather than a single component solution using SSA and we characterize individual birds by their scores on all tasks using POSA. We note problems with the small sample size and call for our exploratory analyses to be replicated using a larger sample of birds and for the development of further test items using the facet theory’s tool the mapping sentence. We suggest that facet theory and the mapping sentences are research approaches suitable for conceiving, designing, analysing and developing theory that may be used within avian cognitive research. We conclude by proposing a mapping sentence for avian cognition, which forms an adaptable template for future avian cognition research.